O’Brien set to the take wraps off High Chaparral

AIDAN O’BRIEN is set to take the wraps off High Chaparral in Sunday’s Group Two Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh.

He confirmed that was the plan yesterday, indicating the four-year-old was in “great form.”

He is, however, hoping for “nice ground” for his star and will be monitoring the situation as the week progresses.

High Chaparral has been dogged by niggling problems since the start of the campaign, but is now ready to start back.

The Sadler’s Wells colt, a dual Derby winner, was last seen when winning the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Turf at Arlington in October.

Meanwhile, O’Brien accounts for no less than nine of the 12 left in the Group One Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh.

He has short-listed four for the race, One Cool Cat, The Mighty Tiger, Old Deuteronomy and Newton.

One Cool Cat would look the most interesting possibility, having taken the Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh last month with a lot in hand.

No matter how many the Ballydoyle maestro finally deccides to run, however, they will face an uphill task against Roger Charlton’s Three Valleys.

He looked a star in the making when taking the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot by an astonishing eight lengths.

Cashmans have opened a book on the race and they bet: 2-5 Three Valleys, 7-4 A P O’Brien stable, 14-1 Wathab, 33-1 Notable Lady.

O’Brien intends running two in the Group Three Debutante Stakes, the promising Necklace and the Galway third, Oh So Precious.

Meanwhile a decision on whether to water at the Curragh will be made later in the week.

The going was yesterday described as good, although that may change in the next 24 hours according to racecourse manager Paul Hensey.

“Yesterday it was good to yielding but it has dried out and today it is good,” said Hensey.

“However, the forecast is for possible heavy, thundery showers so I’ll wait and see what transpires before deciding on a watering policy later in the week.

“It is cloudy today but it is also very, very warm weather.”

Zafeen looks set to have his next outing in France following his brave effort on ground too soft for him in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last week.

Mick Channon has no regrets about running his St James’s Palace winner following the rain which made conditions testing for the Group One contest, in which Darryll Holland’s mount finished a close fourth to Reel Buddy.

The West Ilsley trainer now has his sights set on the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on August 17.

“It was the right decision to run him and, after looking to have the race won twice, he pleased me, although it confirmed our suspicions that he doesn’t like the soft,” Channon said.

“He’s come out of it wonderfully well and his next run is likely to be in France. There’s a good race at Longchamp but at the moment we will be looking at the Marois, as long as the ground is okay.”

Zafeen enjoys good or faster conditions and all options are open to him later in the year including, according to Channon, the Breeders’ Cup.

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